Project monitors how climate affects wildflowers

Staff reportMay 5, 2013 

MeadoWatch, a citizen science program run by the University of Washington biology department, is recruiting volunteers to help monitor wildflowers at Mount Rainier National Park. The group is looking for about 50 people who enjoy hiking and viewing alpine wildflowers.

Volunteers chosen will survey the phenology of wildflowers this summer. Phenology is the study of life events, such as the timing of flowering and seed set.

“These events are very sensitive to variations in climate so volunteer participation will help us better understand how climate influences the flowers in mountain meadows at Mount Rainier National Park,” said Anna Wilson, MeadoWatch coordinator.

“We’re looking for people interested in gaining an understanding of how scientists study the potential impacts of climate change on native plants,” she added.

Volunteers will be asked to attend one orientation session and conduct at least one wildflower survey in the park this summer. Depending on when the snow melts, the wildflower surveys will take place between late June and late September.

The hikes will start and end at Reflection Lakes on the southwest side of the mountain. The hike is an out-and-back trail that covers about 6 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 1,500 feet. Volunteers will stop at nine locations along the trail and record plant phases for 10 different wildflower species.

Volunteers will be given free entrance to the park and may camp for one or two nights at the volunteer campground at Longmire.

CONCESSIONAIRE SOUGHT

Olympic National Park is looking for proposals to operate overnight accommodations, food and beverage, retail and other services at Log Cabin Resort within the park.

The resort is currently being run by Aramark Sports and Entertainment Services, under a temporary agreement with the park that will expire Sept 30. The length of the new contract will be for 10 years.

In order to be evaluated and considered for the contract, proposals must be received no later than 4 p.m. on June 25.

For more information, contact commercial services specialist Isabel Alvarado at 415-623-2225 or isabel_alvarado@nps.gov.

VOLUNTEER GATHERINGS

Mount Rainier’s volunteer program is gearing up for the summer season and has several gatherings planned.

The first will be the annual volunteer brunch. It will be from 9-11 a.m. Saturday at the Tacoma Mountaineers Program Center, 2302 N. 30th St., Tacoma.

Participants are asked to bring a favorite dish to share.

The event will include a discussion of plans for the summer season and a briefing of general park news.

The park’s Meadow Rover program is holding two training sessions in June. The first is for new rovers and will be held June 22. The training for experienced rovers will be June 23.

Learn more about park volunteer programs at nps.gov/mora/supportyourpark/volunteer.htm.

Visitor center hours

Longmire Museum

360-569-6575

Through June 30: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily

July 1-Sept. 2: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center

360-569-6571

Today-June 14: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

June 15-Sept. 1: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily

Ohanapecosh Visitor Center

360-569-6581

Will be closed for the summer due to sequestration cuts

Sunrise Visitor Center

360-663-2425

Scheduled to open July 3

wilderness, climbing info

Paradise Climbing information Center

Guide House

360-569-6641

Saturday- Sept. 30: 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays

6 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Longmire Wilderness information center

360-569-6650

May 24-Oct. 14: 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Get involved

For more information: To learn more about the MeadoWatch project, go to https://sites.google.com/a/uw.edu/meadowatch.

To participate: If you are interested in participating, fill out a short survey at

https://sites.google.com/a/uw.edu/meadowatch/Projects.

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